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sonic activities of i: wound and ambermusic for the tattooed frog

i:wound - "ram nam satya hai“

Release date: 1997
Format: CD
Label: ambermusic for the tattooed frog
Price: sold out!




Mixed from 5 hours of samples recorded during an overland journey to and in India in 1996/97, „ram nam satya hai" is no chronological travelogue like „traumpfad", but was arranged horizontally: Moments at the beginning of the journey mix with later encounters. Thus a muhezzin from Istanbul meets Indian tablaplayers, a Japanese zenmonk in Bodhgaya meets a Korean bamboo flute, Pakistani sufis meet Indian chaivendours.

The central moments were recorded at the burning ghats in Varanasi (Benares). The title is the traditional hindu praise for the deceased first shouted by one person, then responded echo-like by those carrying the corpse. It is translated as: „The Name of Ram is Truth".


  1. city of shiva: Varanasi/Benares, holy city at the holy Ganga river
  2. city of kali: Calcutta, described in the inaudible poem on track 5 of the CD (compare below)
  3. home of the jagganath: Puri, holy city in Orissa - the jagganath is an acid-like deity that doesn't care for castes; women in their menstruation are not allowed in his temples though; an old tradition that has led to much controversy and hopefully will be abolished soon.
  4. radio beijing interlude: a situation in Shigatse, Tibet, when the whole city (the second biggest in Tibet) was polluted with Chinese propaganda at maximum volume
  5. the torch of naxalbari: several graffitis all over India, but mainly in Bihar, Westbengal and Orissa support the peasants' insurrection that began in Naxalbari and led to the founding of the People's War Group

lyrics (the inaudible Calcutta poem in track 5):

only half awake as our train's been delayed
still more people than dogs sleep in the streets
yes, this city' s a bitch with more puppies than tits
and sometimes they bite so she bleeds
some drops for mother destruction, an omnipresent sacrifice to quench her thirst
kneedeep in rotten flowers, a humid human mass pulsating in steam
throb throb like the goats' blood at the temple in front of which cops destroy corrugating iron shelters
of those who escaped from the slums and commies chase hawkwers and beggars to clean the strees for mother destruction, an omnipresent sacrifice to quench her thirst...

the references:

sanjoy hazarika: strangers of the mist - tales of war & peace from india' s northeast
prakash singh: the naxalite movement in india (C!)
mala sen: india's bandit queen - the true story of phoolan devi
christa wichterich: stree shakti - frauen in indien
taslima nasrin: lajja - shame
patnaik/chowdhury/das patnaik: the bondos and their response to development (R!)
sitakant mahapatra: the tangled web - tribal life and culture in orissa
tribal and harijan research-cum-training institute: the kondh/the saora/the juang (R!)
salman rushdie: the moor's last sigh/shame/midnight's children/grimus/the satanic verses/east, west
theos bernard: hindu philosophy
w. j. wilkins: hindu mythology
(C!) - written by a cop...
(R!)- contains racist prejudices against the indigenous people of india

city_of_shiva.mp3 20.42 MB

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